Craig Smith has illustrated more than 400 books for children over 40 plus years, working with many of Australia's most experienced writers and editors.

Hi there. I'm Craig.

I've been fortunate to have worked as a book illustrator my entire working life. My pathway to illustration came through reading, a love of humour and through drawing people.

I love stories. I love being in a story – by that I mean really inside the story, thinking about the characters, what they might be doing, how to picture that?

And, what technology to use? Pencil, paper, paint and ink certainly. Somewhere in the process digital tools and software. 

For particular info and resources about Daradgee Writer's & Illustrator's Camp please scroll down to School Visits page... There you will find video and pdf links that will help make clear the book-making task - especially the illustration task!

My Story pdf FAQ's pdf

My work

A recurring theme of my work is picturing an Australian childhood. A childhood lived in an Australian landscape – often, but not always, a suburb!

I learnt my illustration style by drawing with pen and nib, and black ink. This could be described as learning how to make the outlines come to life.

Recent books pdf Bibliography pdf Bibliography by Author pdf

School visits

In recent years I have been to schools right around Australia. My school presentations are about drawing for storytelling.

The presentation is organised around the questions and choices an illustrator faces in composing an illustration, and modelling a technique to work it all out.

In the guided drawing task, the first questions include, where and when is a story set, what moment to draw, what viewpoint, arranging the main shapes on the picture plane, what movement and body language, using light and shadow.

For teachers, a quick insight into this process may be found in the GETTING STARTED video created for the students at Daradgee Writers and Illustrators Camp. Shorter segments of that longer video cover these topics: ENDPAPERS, STORYBOARD, CHARACTER sketching, and basic WATERCOLOUR painting. A new video focusing on PAINTING LANDSCAPES is now available. Also for Daradgee PDF notes on Getting Started, and posters on the Book Structure, Endpapers, and a Storyboard sheet are free to download.
Happily with my colleague Liz Honey and the wonderful teaching team at Daradgee Camp, this years event WILL be face to face. The task of creating the many storybooks in just a few days is quite a buzz and a credit to all involved. 

For more information please go to the School Visit button below, or contact me direct.

It appears there is still an understandable hesitancy about school visits. I've enjoyed being at a few schools virtually via Zoom. Some things are ok presented by camera, but the back and forth feedback is not as good as when in-person. Check in again for updates, or contact me direct about any of this. Take care.

School visits pdf EOI Picture This Tutorial pdf

Get in touch!

Interested in a school visit, or any other enquiry? Don't hesitate to get in touch.